YES Created to Address Children’s Needs
YES was created in response to the Jeff D. class-action lawsuit that began in 1980. At that time, both children and adults received mental-health care at State Hospital South. The lawsuit argued that Idaho lacked sufficient treatment, educational, and community-based services, which allegedly violated patients’ rights under the U.S. Constitution, Idaho Constitution, and other federal and state laws.
After three decades of hearings, the Court recommended mediation to develop solutions. This occurred from September 2013 through December 2014, and included parents, patient advocates, health providers, and attorneys. The result of these negotiations became the Idaho Implementation Plan, which led to the creation of YES.
Collaborative, Team-Based Approach
A major focus of YES is collaboration and coordinated care. The program will bring together the Department of Health and Welfare, State Department of Education, and Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections.
These agencies aim to improve communications between health providers and agencies. This improved communication can help streamline care and prevent duplicate or conflicting treatments. All agencies involved will work toward the same goals for each child.
Under YES, Idaho aims to use a uniform, statewide procedure to identify children and teens with unmet mental-health needs and connect them to the appropriate resources. This will be done with the new Child and Adolescent Needs & Strengths, a standardized, statewide tool to identify children in need, measure functional impairment, communicate about the child’s needs and strengths, and help plan treatment.
What Are Some of the Goals of YES?
State agencies intend to measure and communicate treatment outcomes, which will increase transparency and accountability to patients, families, and other stakeholders. The state also intends to use state resources effectively, and to use Medicaid and other federal funds to the fullest extent available.
YES also encourages children and their families to be involved in care and treatment planning, as well as system improvement. Under the program, children with SED will receive individualized services, and families will be educated on how to use these services.
Through these efforts, Idaho hopes to see improved outcomes for children and teens with SED. These include increased safety at home and in school, reduced hospitalizations and “out-of-home placements,” reduced delinquency, improved mental health and reduced mental disability, and improved functioning among patients with SED.
What Services Will Be Available?
Idaho is implementing YES in stages from 2018 to 2019. The state is in the process of providing YES training for providers and families, and conducting outreach regarding the new program.
Under YES, families will work with several agencies, including schools, family health providers, and the departments of Health and Welfare or Juvenile Justice. Together, the family and agencies will develop a treatment plan based on the child’s individual needs.
Idaho also intends to develop additional community-based services to help meet YES goals. Available services will be listed on the program’s Services and Supports Page.